The parents of middle schoolers in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 received the following email from the district Wednesday afternoon:
Dear Middle School Families:
District 65 consults regularly with the local health departments about the evolving COVID-19 situation and impact within our school communities. Today, we made the decision, in consultation with the Evanston Health & Human Services Department, that the following schools will take an “Adaptive Pause” tomorrow, December 23, 2021:
- Chute Middle School
- Haven Middle School
- Nichols Middle School
- King Arts (6-8 grade students only)
This means that 6-8 grade students at these schools only will participate in e-learning tomorrow. K-5 students at King Arts and all other D65 students (including all grade levels at Bessie Rhodes) will continue with in-person learning as planned tomorrow, unless they are currently required to quarantine.
How this Decision was Made
Decisions are made under the advice of the local health department and are based on the unique situation of every classroom, grade level, and school. This decision overall is a result of rising COVID-19 cases and the number of students currently in quarantine who were identified as close contacts. In addition, this has an inevitable impact on staffing which is critical to the safe operation of these classrooms. We know that this news is difficult and yet was made with the health and safety of our students and staff in mind.
What is an Adaptive Pause?
An Adaptive Pause is a short-term mitigation strategy that allows time for local health officials to gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 situation within schools. This is intended to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 while allowing students to continue instruction remotely with their teachers and during their regular schedules.
What does learning look like tomorrow?
During the adaptive pause, learning will be both synchronous (live) and asynchronous. Synchronous learning means students participate in class activities in real time, with students and instructors attending together from their different locations. Attendance will be taken; however, student absences will be marked as excused.
Educators will also provide learning activities in Google Classroom for students to engage with asynchronously as well as zoom links to join class. Students will engage in learning in a condensed version of their daily schedule with five hours of instruction. All students will bring their device home. A limited number of hot spots are available and will be provided to students as needed. If your family is in need, please contact the school directly.
Please review the District’s e-learning plan for additional information.
504, IEP, and other student meetings
Meetings will continue to be held as planned tomorrow via video conferencing platforms. Please work with your child’s team to access the meeting.
If your family or another you know is in need of breakfast and/or lunch tomorrow, please contact the Nutrition Services Department at email@example.com or 847-859-8130. Additionally there are a number of resources on the City of Evanston website with food accessibility and assistance information.
Winter Break Reminder
District 65 schools will be closed for winter break December 24 – January 9. School and regular District 65 business operations will resume on Monday, January 10, 2022.
Contacting the School
Please allow educators and administrators time this afternoon to prepare for tomorrow’s Adaptive Pause. Schools will continue to share additional information and updates. Unless it is an emergency, please refrain from calling so that attention and energy can be focused on supporting this transition.
With winter break upon us, it is critical that mitigation efforts continue in our community during the adaptive pause, during winter break, and when school resumes fully in-person on January 10. Any additional mitigation measures will be communicated with staff and families prior to return.
District 65 will continue to evaluate our mitigation and response strategies on a daily basis in partnership with the Evanston Health Department. In addition, all schools will undergo a deep cleaning during the winter break. We will share any updates as they become available, and in alignment with ISBE, IDPH, and CDC guidelines.
Dr. Devon Horton